Historical Overview of 19th Century Medicine

I ran across these guest posts by Eleanor Sullivan over at The Writer’s Forensic Blog which were excellent and a good resource for the historical authors that follow here. They are must read as I learned a lot of fascinating facts.

To supplement, I thought I’d add a few words to her list of terms that were used then and what they mean. These are referenced from Frontier Medicine by David Dary which is another excellent resource.

Acute Indigestion: listed as a cause of death. Probably a heart attack. This is interesting as in modern medicine, women can present quite differently from their male counterparts when they are suffering from heart attack. One of these symptoms can be indigestion.

Bad Blood: syphilis

Barber’s Itch: infection of the hair follicles of the face.

Black Fever: Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Camp Colic: appendicitis

Domestic Illness: polite label for mental breakdown, depression, or the aftereffects of a stroke where a person was housebound and in need of regular nursing.

Dry Bellyache: lead poisoning

Grip/Gripe: influenza

Quinsy: tonsillitis

Scrivener’s Palsy: writer’s cramp

For an outstanding generalized overview of 19th century medicine, check out these links to Eleanor’s Guest Posts:

1. http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/guest-blogger-eleanor-sullivan-19th-century-medicine-part-1/

2. http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/?s=Eleanor+Sullivan

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